Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Growing Garden

The garden goes slow, but it goes and it grows. We try and try again while the evil caterpillars continue to eat our food before we do. Currently we have some very tasty radishes, spinach, Fenugreek leaves (Methi), some Massive pumpkin & lots of peppermint. In the big field, mung and urad dal in the summer and wheat in the winter. All chemical free... hence the insects.

Google tells me today that to get rid of the insects who steal our food - boil garlic, onion and red chili in water for 15 minutes, cool. Then dilute with water and spray on the garden. So hopefully this will work and there will just be the monkeys left to deal with!

Peace Flags

Purity, divinity in all things, all moments. The white flags represent a remembering of the goal, to raise ourselves up to the higher planes of existence, flowing with and undisturbed by the changes of the wind.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gulab & Abundance

So last year Radhe had the idea to plant a field full of roses... how lovely.

Now we have roses everywhere. Morning rose-picking meditation is an all-round favorite at the moment. Rose jam, rose water, rose oil, drying rose petals and sweet smells all around the ashram.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Winter drawing

Last winter was especially cold. Sundays were for baking biscuits for the kids and drawing around the fire in the meeting room.

Achar (pickle) with Amma

Amma has a way of doing things as they have been done in Rajpur for generations- with process, grace, rhythm and timing.

Pickles are made by season.
It's best to start in the morning so whatever fruit or vegetable you are using has time to dry out.

Here we've used large green chili, carrot, starfruit and radish to make two different types of pickle. One of green chili stuffed with crushed coriander and fennel seeds, salt and mustard oil, creating an interesting mix of flavours to munch on with Dal and rice. The second pickle was the same spice mix (masala) with carrots, star fruit and radish.

The pickles can be eaten straight away, and if you're a chili-head like me you won't be able to wait, but they are best a week or so after sitting in oil when their full flavours have been released.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nanu and his worms

Nanu lives in Rajpur village and is an enthusiastic entrepreneur with his organic composting and biogas projects.

New stairs

It was for quite a while that we risked our lives every morning climbing up a very dodgy bamboo ladder to get to the roof every morning. These stairs are a well-welcomed luxury. The roof is now an easily accessible space for yoga, sleeping, drying foods and also provides a nice view of Rajpur village and the lake.

10,000 Bricks

The birth of the boundary.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fresh sugarcane juice for everyone!

Hard work for a cup of juice! The old-school juicer lies just outside the ashram walls, it was bought by the ashram and is free for anyone to use. A good way to bring everyone together and heat us up in the winter. We've seen people from the village try all sorts of ways to get their juice quicker - cows, cars, tractors, bicycles, motorbikes... nothing works better and is more fun that grabbing anyone nearby and running round in circles with your friends. Makes the juice taste better too.

Friday, May 28, 2010


The youngest member of the family

The never-ending process. As we affectionately call it, 'cow-shit yoga'. ;)

Biogas Project

I was just in the middle of writing a long post about our hopes and plans to introduce biogas into the ashram, Rajpur village and the greater area (so we can make use of the thousands of cow-shit paddies the women spend half their lives making!), when I stopped to do some research and found this fantastic video that explains all about it perfectly!

The video is from a fantastic company doing fantastic things: Grassroots India

Grass-cutting for the cows


Traditionally, an ashram (Sanskrit/Hindi:(आश्रम)) is a religious hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction.

An ashram would typically, but not always, be located far from human habitation, in forests or mountainous regions, amidst refreshing natural surroundings conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation. The residents of an ashram regularly performed spiritual and physical exercises, such as the various forms of Yoga. Other sacrifices and penances, such as Yajnas were also performed. Many ashrams also served as Gurukuls or residential schools for children.

Ashrams have been a powerful symbol throughout Hindu history and theology. Most Hindu kings, until the medieval ages, are known to have had a sage who would advise the royal family in spiritual matters, or in times of crisis, who was called the rajguru, which literally translates to royal teacher. A world-weary emperor going to this guru's ashram, and finding solace and tranquility, is a recurring motif in many folktales and legends of ancient India.

Sometimes, the goal of a pilgrimage to the ashram was not tranquility, but instruction in some art, especially warfare. In the Hindu epic Ramayana, the protagonist princes of ancient Ayodhya, Rama and Lakshmana, go to the Rishi Vishvamitra's ashram to protect his Yajnas from being defiled by emissary-demons of Ravana. After they prove their mettle, the princes receive martial instruction from the sage, especially in the use of enchanted weapons, called Divyastras. In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna, in his youth, goes to the ashram of Sage Sandiipanii, to gain knowledge of both intellectual and spiritual matters.

Yatharth Yog Ashram

The YatharthYogAshram Foundation welcomes visitors from both India and around the world and invites them to participate in the social, ecological and educational projects it has set up. The Ashram provides a relaxed environment where people can live and learn from their own experience in a free and open manner. The focus lies on Health, Work and Learning, for these three are always interconnected. It’s about giving and receiving, in a world that is ultimately your own.